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July 12, 2017

Aguilar Introduces Bill to Connect Inland Empire Businesses with Local Job Seekers

Today, Rep. Pete Aguilar introduced the On-the-Job Training Tax Credit of 2017, which creates a temporary tax credit for employers to help pay for training new hires. The bill will help close the “skills gap” that exists between the labor force and the skills employers require.

“The Inland Empire is brimming with thriving local businesses and a talented workforce, but we waste that potential on both ends if we cannot connect the two. I originally introduced this bill in 2015 after meeting with local business owners, veterans and community leaders who expressed frustration with the skills gap, and two years later, I hear the same concerns,” said Rep. Aguilar. He added, “Closing the skills gap is an important way to help get our local economy back on track and put San Bernardino County residents back to work.”

Dr. John Husing, Chief Economist for the Inland Empire Economic Partnership commented, “Congressman Aguilar’s proposed On-the-Job Training Tax Credit Act of 2017 is on point to a crucial aspect of modernizing today’s workforce by helping to ensure that existing employees have the opportunity to increase their technological skills through training while on their jobs. Helping to offset the cost of this training is one important way in which the federal government can assist workers, companies and the productivity of the American economy.  To ensure that the money is well spent, the idea that workers will be retained for at least two years makes great sense. As an economist specializing in workforce training in a region of modestly educated workers, this is an outstanding idea that should have bipartisan support.”

The On-the-Job Training Tax Credit Act creates a temporary tax credit for employers to pay up to $5,000 for the training of their employees. Eligible businesses would be those with a workforce of 500 or less, and the credit would be applicable to a variety of training programs including: apprenticeship programs, industry-sponsored training programs, trainings offered by vocational or technical schools, community colleges, industrial or trade organizations, and labor unions. Additionally, employees that complete training programs supported by the tax credit must be retained by the business for at least two years as full-time employees. Rep. Aguilar modeled the bill after the successful employment program utilized by the San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board, which has helped nearly 500 people find work through its On-the-Job Training Program.

Rep. Aguilar prioritizes policies that will put San Bernardino County residents back to work and help local businesses expand. He originally introduced the On-the-Job Training Tax Credit Act in May 2015 and remains committed to supporting bipartisan solutions to get the Inland Empire economy back on track.